Conference on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia 2020-2022: Restriction, Relief, Recovery


Southeast Asia’s journey through two and a half years of Covid-19 comprises shared and unique experiences. Research on the pandemic’s impacts and policy challenges can shed important light on how the region managed the multiple crises. In navigating concurrent health and economic crises, and in some cases political instability, governments and societies have had to go to unprecedented lengths in restricting mobility, delivering aid, coordinating responses, and communicating information.

At this conference, researchers from across Southeast Asia will present their findings and analyses of the manifold aspects of Covid-19. Country studies of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are grouped according to four themes: pandemic management, economic stimulus, policy coordination, and transition economy experience. Each study provides a general overview and focuses on specific aspects to enhance comparison across a select set of countries. We also investigate vaccine procurement and rollout across the region, and ASEAN’s Covid-19 initiatives. Panel presentations and discussions will be centred on the region’s performance in meeting the challenges of Covid-19, and lessons to be learned for future crises.

This conference is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Download the programme here.

Read the event highlight here.


This hybrid event is open to the public and will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Seminar Rooms 1 & 2.

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code. 

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Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register via the following links to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

Day 1 (Thursday, 28 July 2022) – Register here
Day 2 (Friday, 29 July 2022) – Register here

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.

Day 1Thursday, 28 July 2022

Welcome Remarks — 10.00 am10.15 am

Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director and CEO, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Mr Andreas Klein, Director of Political Dialogue Asia, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Panel 1: Covid-19 in the Transition Economies: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar — 10.15 am–12.05 pm


  1. Teng Delux & Pen Socheata
    Cambodia Development Research Institute
    Cambodia’s Covid-19 Impacts and Economic Recovery Pathways: Aspects and Perspectives
    Download paper here

  2. Phouphet Kyiphilavong & Khaysy Srithilat
    National University of Laos
    Laos’ Covid-19 Recovery Pathways
    Download paper here

  3. Sandii Lwin, Kyaw San Wai & Nilar Win
    Myanmar Health and Development Consortium
    Capabilities, Coup-vid and Cataclysm: Myanmar’s Responses to Covid 19
    Download paper here

Discussant: Jayant Menon, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Moderator: Moe Thuzar, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Panel 2: Policy Coordination in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand: Horizontal and Vertical Dimensions — 1.15 pm–3.05 pm


  1. Yanuar Nugroho & Sofie Syarif
    ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
    To Be or Not to Be? Dilemmas of Covid-19 Policy Implementation and Coordination in Indonesia
    Download paper here

  2. Tricia Yeoh
    Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
    Conflict and Cooperation: Covid-19 Policy Coordination in Malaysia
    Download paper here

  3. Punchada Sirivunnabood
    Mahidol University
    The Drama of Vaccine Politics: Covid-19 Inoculation Distribution in Thailand
    Download paper here

Discussant: Siwage Dharma Negara, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Moderator: Francis Hutchinson, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Panel 3: Vaccination and Reopening: Country-level and ASEAN Experiences — 3.25 pm–4.55 pm


  1. Tham Siew Yean & Andrew Kam
    ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; IKMAS-UKM Malaysia
    Determinants of Covid-19 Vaccine Rollouts in Southeast Asia
    Download paper here

  2. Sara Abdullah
    ASEAN Secretariat
    ASEAN’s Response to COVID-19: Collaboration Towards Reopening
    Download paper here (Updated 26 July 2022)

Discussant: Sanchita Basu Das, Asian Development Bank

Moderator: Melinda Martinus, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Closing Remarks — 4.55 pm–5.00 pm

Day 2Friday, 29 July 2022

Panel 4: Economic Relief and Stimulus: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand — 9.00 am–10.50 am


  1. Melati Nungsari
    Asian School of Business
    Malaysian Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Packages: Too Little, Too Late?
    Download paper here

  2. Terence Ho
    Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
    Singapore: Support for Households and Businesses During the Pandemic
    Download paper here (Updated 26 July 2022)

  3. Archanun Kohpaiboon & Juthathip Jongwanich
    Thammasat University
    Economic Relief and Stimulus: Evidence from Thailand
    Download paper here

Discussant: Lee Hwok Aun, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Moderator: Cassey Lee, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Panel 5: Managing and Mismanaging the Pandemic: Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam — 11.10 am–1.00 pm


  1. Arief Ramayandi & Siwage Dharma Negara
    Asian Development Bank; ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
    Indonesia’s Covid-19 Mobility Restrictions: Rationales and Consequences
    Download paper here

  2. Sheena Valenzuela & Ronald U. Mendoza
    Ateneo de Manila University
    Economics of Lockdown: Balancing Health and the Economy in the Philippines
    Download paper here

  3. Nguyen Thu Huong & Nguyen Thang
    Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS)
    Vietnam’s Pandemic Passage: From “Zero Covid” to Flexible Adaptation
    Download paper here

Discussant: Dean Dulay, Singapore Management University

Moderator: Maria Monica Wihardja, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute

Closing Remarks — 1.00 pm–1.05 pm